CAOL ILA 14 YO 2004 Connoisseurs Choice

Islay Single Malt – 56.8%, 70cl
Single Cask #306661 – Refill Sherry Hogshead
Limited Edition of 259 bottles
LMDW Exclusive

Offering an uninterrupted view of the famous ‘Paps’ of Jura, Caol Ila’s impressive glazed still room is home to the tallest stills on Islay. More smoky than peaty, mineral, undeniably marine and at the same time beautifully fruity, the single malt produced here is extremely popular amongst enthusiasts. A true journey through time taking us back more than half a century, this bottling in many ways evokes the magnificent Caol Ila 1966 Centenary Reserve bottled in 1995 to mark the 100 year anniversary of the renowned independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail. Amongst its many praiseworthy qualities, it is a stunning illustration of how well Caol Ila takes to sherry-cask ageing.

Colour: mahogany with glints of green.

Description

refined, unctuous. Right from the initial nose, the scene is set, with notes of soot and smoked meat appearing alongside stewed fruits (marmalade, melon). The aromatic palette then becomes increasingly gamy and salty. Allowed to breathe, a handful of spices (black pepper, curry), quince jelly and heady florals (lavender, rose, peony) bring lots of complexity. Gradually, dark chocolate, liquorice and smoke (ash, burnt wood) lastingly flood the atmosphere.

full-bodied, distinguished. The remarkably taut attack then takes on the fruit and smoke from the nose. The spicy (ginger) and herbaceous (gentian) mid-palate allows superb medicinal and gamy notes to be expressed. This take almost complete possession of the palate. The silky, delicate end of the palate invites us to enjoy a delicious apricot jam sprinkled with rose petals.

long, powdery. Smoke has now filled the flavour palette. The same smoke also hints at a large number of flowers (carnation, purple lilac, gillyflower). With time, notes of Havana cigar, leather and liquorice stick accompany morsels of intense dark chocolate. The retro-nasal olfaction is characterized by emery cloth, noble wood, chimney smoke (soot) and clove. Unexpectedly but with much conviction, the empty glass allows a glimpse of red fruits (red currant, grenadine) and invites us to begin the tasting again.

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